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Archive for the ‘Commonly Asked Questions’ Category

This is a common question I get when a person is considering selling their Oakland County MI home. First let me explain that most everything is negotiable; the purpose of this post is to address what is customary for the Oakland County and Lapeer County areas.

Costs to the seller:

  • commission (I normally charge 6%, 10% on vacant land)
  • transfer tax (.75%)
  • revenue stamps ($1.10 per $1000)
  • title insurance (depends on the sale price)
  • $295 file retention fee (amount varies with different companies)
  • misc. costs such as wiring fees, recording fees and I usually estimate on the high side at $500 but is probably closer to $100 on most transaction

If you currently have a mortgage on the house that will have to be paid out of your proceeds. Taxes are usually prorated to the date of closing and if you are current on your taxes you will probably get some back. Homeowner association dues is usually prorated to the date of closing. Water and sewer bill (if applicable) are paid at closing.

If there is possession $200 or $300 is usually escrowed at closing to cover any water/sewer charges for the time you live in the house as a tenant after closing. You will normally pay the new owner’s house payment for the time you stay after closing. So you agree on 45 days possession after closing, we will typically escrow 45 days of the new owner’s mortgage and you pay for the days you stay.

These costs are for a normal sale- not short sale or land contract sale.

For more information about selling your Oakland County or Lapeer County MI home please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Jackie Hawley, Realtor
ReMax Encore
Jackie@JackieHawley.com

Cell: (248) 736-6407

www.MiRelocation.com

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Should I stay around for the showing?

Many home sellers in Oakland and Lapeer County Michigan ask this question. You should leave and I should not be there either.

For the showing you want potential buyers to be as comfortable as possible. You want them to feel free to express any concerns or dislikes to their agent. Often this is a sign of interest and a good buyer’s agent will often times have solutions. Nobody wants a buyer to pass on a house because of something curable.

You want the buyer to feel comfortable enough to sit down, feel like they’re at home. Placing furniture. Kids picking out their rooms.

You don’t want them to feel rushed or inhibited. You don’t want them to feel like they’re being “sold” anything.

Getting Your Home Ready For Sale

Home Evaluation

What to Expect on the Listing Appointment/How Much Does it Cost to Sell?

Why List With Jackie

Jackie Hawley, Realtor
ReMax Encore, Clarkston MI

Cell: (248) 736-6407

Jackie@JackieHawley.com
www.MiRelocation.com

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Seller Concessions Explained- Southeast Michigan Real Estate

This is my attempt at a very simplified explanation of what seller concessions are.

Example: You want to buy the house you just looked at and want to make an offer of $200,000. You need $5000 in seller concessions (seller paying all or part of your closing costs). Your offer will be $205,000 asking the seller to pay $5000 in concessions. If you offer $200K and ask for $5K in concessions, your offer is really $195,000.

The seller isn’t really paying your closing costs- you are mortgaging them.

Sellers- you really aren’t paying those closing costs. The buyer is mortgaging them.

Buyers- sellers have a bottom line. They don’t tend to come down to that bottom line AND pay concessions. The concessions are rolled into the purchase price.

Sellers– don’t question the amount of the concessions. If the buyer’s loan officer is over charging them that is their business. You only need to be concerned about your bottom line.

Compliments of Jackie Hawley, Realtor of the JHawley and Associates Real Estate Team at ReMax Encore in Clarkston MI.

Cell: (248)736-6407

Jackie@JackieHawley.com

www.SearchMichiganMLSListings.com

Lower Straits Lake

www.OaklandCountyMichiganLakes.com

Waterford MI Lakefront Homes For Sale

Clarkston MI Lakefront Homes For Sale

White Lake/Highland MI Lakefront Homes For Sale

Lake Orion/Oxford/Addison MI Lakefront Homes For Sale

Lapeer MI Lakefront Homes For Sale

www.LakeOaklandHomes.com

www.MacedayLake.com

Sylvan and Otter Lake

www.LakeOrionLakeFrontRealEstate.com

For Sellers- www.JHawleyAndAssoc.com

For Sellers- www.AreaRealEstateExperts.com

www.ClarkstonMichiganRealEstate.com

www.MiRelocation.com

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Home staging your Oakland County or Lapeer County MI home for sale.

At one time it was just part of a Realtor’s job to “stage” a home they were listing- at least in the North Oakland and Lapeer areas that I work in. In those days staging had a bit of a different meaning. I typically will tell a seller if they need to de-clutter, clean, paint, repair…. I have no taste, so I don’t normally suggest colors. I may suggest taking down some of your “art work” or removing bushes that are too big and too close to the house. This was called “staging.”

Now there is a whole new industry for home staging. Home Stagers have their own associations, training, certifications, etc. This is a “good thing.” Staging your Oakland County or Lapeer home MAY help you sell it faster and for more money. But since Home Staging has become its own industry, home stagers really don’t like Realtors calling what we do home staging.

It’s kind of like Kleenex which is a brand of tissue, but is used for all brands of tissue. Jacuzzi is a brand name that is used for all jetted tubs, and so on.

When it comes to the term home staging or home stager, certified home stagers think they own this term. Who had it first? Realtors used it long before home stagers were in existence. If you contact a Realtor who offers free home staging services, find out exactly what they are offering. Some may have a professional stager on their payroll. Some may just be coming in and suggesting ways to make  your home show better.

There’s nothing wrong with the second scenario; most houses in Oakland and Lapeer County will NOT benefit from professional home staging services. Some will. The first call should be to your Realtor who can help you determine if you need professional staging services or not.

www.SearchMichiganMLSListings.com

www.OaklandCountyMichiganLakes.com

www.ClarkstonMichiganRealEstate.com

www.JHawleyAndAssoc.com

www.AreaRealEstateExperts.com

www.LakeOaklandHomes.com

www.MacedayLake.com

www.LakeOrionLakeFrontRealEstate.com

Jackie Hawley, Realtor
ReMax Encore, Clarkston

cell: 248-736-6407

Jackie@JackieHawley.com

www.MiRelocation.com

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What Does BATVI Mean? Clarkston MI Real Estate

Simply- Buyer Agent To Verify Information.

This is also known as an ass covering, or in my opinion, a waste of precious space in the limited space allotted in the MLS.

If you are buying a Clarkston MI short sale listing, beware of listings where the listing agent fills out the listing in a shoddy manner, such as wasting space in the comments, not filling out the remarks section at all, inaccurate listing information, etc. Remember, the listing agent is the person we are relying on to complete the short sale to the banks’ and seller’s approval. If he can’t fill out the listing, how successful will his short sale negotiations be?

If you are selling a Clarkston MI home, check your MLS sheet to make sure it is complete and accurate and all 25 photos included. The MLS is in place to sell your listing to the buyers’ agents. If I am going to show 5 houses to someone and 10 show up in the MLS search, I will not show the listings that are incomplete or indicate laziness on the part of the listing agent.

Often times BATVI gets replaced by CHP or EXP (price change or expired listing).

Jackie Hawley
ReMax Encore, Clarkston
Jackie@JackieHawley.com

Cell: 248-736-6407

Marketing Your Clarkston MI Home

Choosing An Agent To Market Your Clarkston MI Home

Choosing A Buyer’s Agent

Search The MLS

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I was talking to a couple of agents at the office yesterday and one of them was complaining about our purchase agreement asking for the seller to pay for the well and septic inspection (if the house is on well and/or septic). He was saying that perfectly good offers were getting countered because of this one item.

He has a couple of options– he can cross out seller and hand write in buyer and have it initialed, or he can cross out the whole paragraph and the buyer can make it part of his general home inspection.

Another agent wanted to know why he would want that removed; after all he is working for the buyer and the seller should have to prove their well and septic worked properly and the water clean. Like supplying clean title.

I ask- As a buyer’s agent why would you put the seller in charge of ANY of your inspections?

well and septic inspection“Back in the day” many of the purchase agreements asked for septic inspections to be performed by the county. Oakland County used to send out a sanitarian, who would walk out to where he thought the septic field was, sniff the air, and approve the septic. That’s not really much of an exaggeration. The point is, there is no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes a well and septic inspection. And most purchase agreements that have pre-printed that the seller is to supply a satisfactory well and septic inspection don’t specify exactly what they want done and what constitutes satisfactory. Just a sniff test? A dye test? Open the tank and take core sample from the field?

And the water…. Who is collecting if the seller is having it done? What lab? Are the including arsenic and lead? Do you even care if the water is tested? Because no matter what the purchase agreement states, you REALLY are paying for that well and septic inspection. Sellers have a bottom line and any costs you ask them to cover will be factored into the sale price. So really you are still paying, but giving up the power to have any say in how those inspections are performed and who is performing them.

Sellers- If you get an offer asking you to pay for the well and septic inspection DO NOT COUNTER that condition. In the whole scheme of things, the couple hundred dollars a well and septic inspection costs is nothing. Let the buyer’s agent “save” them $200 or $300.  I’m not suggesting you would cheat and send distilled water to a lab, but if you hire a home inspector to collect the water and take it to the lab you have control. We don’t know the buyer’s inspector. We don’t know how long that water sample might roll around in his trunk. Also, if you’re paying, a dye test for the septic is sufficient. It’s what is required by FHA, but doesn’t tell you the condition of the field or tank. It just means it’s working.

I don’t know why brokers pre-print contingencies in their purchase agreements. Everything is negotiable. There are no standards, and old customs have been changing to reflect the high percentage of foreclosure and short sale listings. It’s presumptuous to assume in advance how ALL buyers want to negotiate their home purchase.

photo from Flickr and Soil Science

Seller concessions for dummies

Home sellers- check your listing (MLS sheet)

Seller- you accepted an offer- now what?

Is the appraisal for the buyers protection?

Oakland and Lapeer County Home Seller- The Closing is Set- What To Do Now?

Getting Your Oakland or Lapeer County Home Ready for Sale? I Have Coupons That May Help

Oakland and Lapeer County MI Home Seller- What to Expect on the Listing Appointment

Could Incomplete MLS Listings Be To Blame For Bad Appraisals?

Jackie Hawley
ReMax Encore, Clarkston MI

Jackie@JackieHawley.com
Cell: (248)736-6407

www.MiRelocation.com

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Does the Buyer Have a Right to a Home Inspection?

No.

You have the right to bear arms, you have the right to free speech and assembly… There is no right to a home inspection in a real estate transaction. There is, however, a legal obligation to live up to the terms of the fully executed purchase agreement (not a lawyer).

The offer to purchase will either be contingent on a home inspection or it won’t. If the offer isn’t subject to a home inspection, then the seller doesn’t have to let the buyer inspect. In fact, the seller shouldn’t let the buyer inspect. Sometimes a buyer will waive the inspection contingency to make their offer stronger. But those terms should be spelled out in the purchase agreement.

For Sellers

For Buyers

Search the MLS

What is a Home Warranty and Who Pays for it?

What Happens if the Appraisal is Low?

More About Home Inspections

Jackie Hawley
Keller Williams Realty, Clarkston MI
cell: (248)736-6407
email:
Jackie@JackieHawley.com or Jackie@MiRelocation.com

www.Mirelocation.com

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